Sri Lankan shares ended lower on Thursday, snapping three consecutive sessions of gains, weighed down by losses in industrial and financial stocks.

 

* At the close of trade, the CSE All-Share index was 0.64% down at 7,318.24. The Sri Lankan stock market was closed on Wednesday for a holiday.

* Conglomerate Expolanka Holdings and LOLC Development Finance Plc were the top losers on the index, falling 2.8% and 9.1% respectively.

* The island nation is currently facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, unable to pay for essential imports such as fuel and medicine due to a severe shortage of foreign exchange.

* Sri Lanka's main city, Colombo, was calm on Thursday as people waited for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, although a curfew was imposed and troops patrolled the streets to prevent any outbreak of violence.

* Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives on Wednesday to escape a popular uprising over his family's role in a crippling economic crisis, was on his way to Singapore on Thursday and was expected to stay there for the time being, according to a Sri Lankan government source.

* The violence and political chaos gripping the island nation of 22 million comes amid negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over a rescue plan.

* On the CSE All-Share index, trading volume fell to 44.5 million shares from 56.9 million shares in the previous session.

* The equity market turnover was 625.8 million rupees ($1.76 million), down from 1.11 billion rupees in the earlier session, according to exchange data.

* Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing 11.9 million rupees worth of shares, while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading 619.3 million rupees worth of shares, the data showed.

* For a report on global markets, click ($1 = 355.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)


Reuters